The Fairy Diary Day 491 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The gates to the stronghold city were wide open. The High Fairy joined us there. The sights awaiting us inside were so different than at the time of the original victory celebration. Lights and garlands were festooned overhead, bringing a cheeriness to the eyes and heart. The citizen dwarves having declared a holiday lined the street singing snatches of praise embroidered around each of our names. 

Fliget later told us that he had so wanted to do this as a more proper thank you for all that we had done. 

And the most rousing song of all was lifted up for our pixie Dunfallon the Noble. 

Even before any note was sung I knew we were in for another round of dwarfish hospitality. And there in the city square table upon table was set up for a feast. 

But unlike our feast up in Gilgorgon’s mountain, talk about the future was not only allowed but also encouraged. And the first decision made was about the dwarfish involvement in the mission to the other side. Fliget announced that he would back Gilgorgon’s selection to represent all the dwarves, and while looking at Herblas he added that he thought him a perfect candidate. 

Merlin and the High Fairy applauded the king of the dwarves choice. Then, the wizard stood to make an announcement himself. He introduced Dunfallon and myself and said that we would be part of the team joining Herblas. He had one other to name, but could not until a missing guest had arrived. 

And with that he left us to wonder who that might be. 

The Fairy Diary Day 490 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Our progress picked up after Fliget decided to exercise his prerogative as king of the dwarves. All caravans were shunted aside to allow ours the right of way. 

I began to feel uncomfortable about what might lay ahead for us in the stronghold city. My sense that something was off lead me to approach Merlin to talk to him about it. Gnoston’s and Fliget’s actions were hard to understand as to what motivated them. And afraid to say, I was suspecting our friends of evil intent if not outright perfidy. 

The wizard listened patiently to my fears. When finished he chuckled and painstakingly calmed all my concerns. 

The High Fairy has been sent for and will join us in the stronghold city. The dwarves have invited him to be present for a special celebration of our victory over the dark elves. 

Evidently the dwarves think that a season of thankfulness is called for, especially on the eve of another conflict. 

Before he dismissed me, Merlin hinted that more surprises await us upon our arrival in the stronghold city. 

The Fairy Diary Day 489 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Come time to set out for the stronghold city I was almost too full to move. This feasting of late slows me down considerably. Looking around at my companions I saw a similar effect at work in them – all except in the case of Merlin. He seemed ready to march nonstop all the way to our destination. 

Even more traffic was traveling the Low-way of the dwarves. Most of it headed towards the capital. Many times our party had to yield to the traffic headed in that direction – huge caravans carting building materials and there were other transports headed in that direction which we knew were ferrying metals from the mines, judging by the amount of soldiers guarding them. 

During one of the instances we were waiting Dunfallon excitedly brought to us a new arrival – our friend Gnoston. He wanted to know if I would send a message to the High Fairy – but before I could answer him, Fliget saw him and took him away from us. 

I asked Dunfallon if he knew why Gnoston wanted to contact his excellency. The pixie shook his head. 

We had the distinct feeling afterwards that our friend was being kept from us. 

The Fairy Diary Day 488 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

We were not the only ones traveling the passageway down to the Low-way of the dwarves. Many merchants were passing us in both directions. In the main they were dwarves, but there was a smattering of goblins and elves among them. All were curious and stared unremittingly at Merlin. The wizard took it in stride – and even exchanged pleasantries with a few of them. 

Gibley was not a little amazed at the attention he was getting from these strangers for his being among our number. It made me want to shield him all the more, but Dunfallon beat me to it and fell in step beside him. 

When we reached the bottom where the great doors stood open (as was Merlin’s hope when they were replaced) we found another surprise. Fliget was there – set up in a camp just on the other side, in the Low-way of the dwarves. He had heard that we were coming and had come out to meet us. 

His capital is still being rebuilt and wanted to take us down to the stronghold city to talk through things there. 

Thus we entered into another occasion of dwarfish hospitality. 

The Fairy Diary Day 487 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

It was decided in our meeting that we will be sending a team over to the other side in order to protect our world. It was further decided that this team will consist of members from all its kingdoms and races. The only question left open for now – is it to be one dwarf to represent the whole – or one from each kingdom. Gilgorgon has wisely opted to make this a decision to be shared with Fliget- in the interest of future cooperation. 

So, we assembled our party to travel down to meet with Fliget. Gilgorgon is sending Herblas with us as his representative. 

Gabhe and the other friends of Dunfallon gathered to see the pixie off. They mutually promised to meet again in the not too distant future. Watching Gibley at that moment I could not help but notice a hint of loneliness in his demeanor. 

I kept him company as we descended down the main passageway. It was brilliantly lit and even more dazzling than I remember. And I understood better all the improvements that Herblas ordered on our way up.  He stopped us on one of the grand staircases to point out a new bas relief on the nearby wall. It depicted Merlin, Dunfallon, Rumble, Noralei and myself- all to commemorate the great victory at the former city of the dark elves. 

I admit I was a little embarrassed. 

The Fairy Diary Day 486 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

Gilgorgon had been expecting our arrival, so we were ushered into the great hall and seated for a feast. Herblas was every where directing the provisioning of the table. I was watching Gibley whom I could tell was overwhelmed by the extent and variety of the fare placed before us. I do not believe his eyes could be any bigger. He soon had his plate overflowing too. 

No talk about our reasons for being here was allowed. That was held off until this morning. 

Even then we were waiting on Dunfallon, who had been up all night playing nine pins with his friends and talking with Gabhe, the mountain goat. 

After the pixie took his place at the long table, Merlin – with Gilgorgon’s permission, began the meeting. 

The wizard put forth the question that lay heavily on my mind – what had happened to Artoxon and Bifitz? We knew from the High Fairy that they had been banished. But what then after that?

The dwarf king sighed deeply, then called over a member of his guard. This burly dwarf relayed how he had been assigned to observe that the pair had left their former kingdom. They sought refuge in the villages of the former dark elves, but were turned down again and again. 

One day they fell prey to a rampaging troll who smashed them to bits and ate them. 

Thus I knew why they were sighted on the other side. And must still be there. 

The Fairy Diary Day 485 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

When I saw Dunfallon this morning he was ascending the stairs from the dungeon. Before I could say a word, he headed off my rebuke by assuring me he was all prepared to depart and now even more so as he had grilled Willie as to why he was here. The pixie is confident that the Wisp is powerless to effect any trouble for us – despite his screeching nonstop that our world will soon be his master’s. 

Gibley turned Rayjil over to Rumble’s care after tearfully bidding her goodbye. In the midst of this a message came in on my scroll from the High Fairy. He reports all well back at the repository but does put in a request for some fire plants to keep there for Cluyjil. 

I took his request to Merlin. And he decided that we would see to it after our return from the dwarf kingdoms – unless a critical situation developed in which case we appointed Rumble to take care of it. 

I informed Rumble of this arrangement, telling him if we had not returned in three days, to see to it that the fire plants were transported to the High Fairy. Before I left him my friend pressed a present into my hand – for Dunfallon. It was a cloak of invisibility – pixie size. With the help of the owl he had fashioned one from part of his old cloak. I could only guess why he gave it to me and not to the pixie himself.

At long last feeling all was in order the wizard transported Dunfallon, Gibley, and myself to Gilgorgon’s mountain. 

The Fairy Diary Day 484 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

The surprise on Rumble’s face upon our arrival at Merlin’s castle amused me. I knew it was all due to the presence of Willie with us. Gibley, however, was upset to see the Wisp, a little fearful based on past experiences with him. 

We gave the charge of the imp over to the wizard’s major domo, the owl. Willie shrunk back from the sight of the bird of prey and hid away in one of the private chambers fashioned by Noralei within the cage. The owl took it and him down into the dungeons of the castle. 

Merlin sent us all away to our comfy chambers for a night of rest and assembled us in his study at first light. 

Rumble had no problems accepting his exclusion from the mission. He always did have a healthy knack for fitting in where he was needed. And he could see that he has an important task helping the owl look after Willie and tending to Rayjil’s needs. 

Merlin and I had to spend more time convincing Gibley to accompany us without his dragon. The wizard calmed his fears and promised to remain by his side throughout our trip. 

Once we settled the important issues, we turned our efforts towards our preparations. 

The Fairy Diary Day 483 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

With everything prepared I had a prompting of sorts to check on the Crack of Doom before Merlin, Dunfallon and I left for his castle. All seemed in order. Four fairy guards were in their new posts high above the bell. I felt assured that it was as protected as we could make it. 

That is until I turned to leave that roost. 

An alarm sounded indicating that one of our traps had sprung. It was soon surrounded by almost everyone in the repository. 

We had once again caught the Will’o’the Wisp. And he was spluttering his displeasure for all to hear. 

We postponed our departure only for as long as it took Dunfallon to question the imp about his recent activities. Longer than that we did not want to indulge. We were satisfied that there was no imminent danger of further incursions. And having transferred him to his new cage Merlin made the decision to take him with us. (We want him as far from the bell as possible).

After exchanging farewells with everyone (and promises to Noralei that we would soon be reunited), Merlin whisked us away. 

The Fairy Diary Day 482 #TFDbyRWOz2

Meribabell writes:

I am afraid a squabble broke out amongst us as to who should accompany Merlin on his mission to see the dwarves. Dunfallon was the most vocal against my notion that he should stay and complete the training for Cluyjil and the fairies posted here. Obviously he thought otherwise. 

I wanted to enlist Rumble back at Merlin’s castle and Noralei from here, and thus make it an all fairy affair. 

It became a mute point when Merlin called me in to announce he would only be taking Gibley, Dunfallon and myself. And that I need to have the pixie ready to depart to his castle to collect Gibley in the morning. And from there we will go on to Gilgorgon’s mountain. 

I passed the afternoon seeing to the wizard’s wishes. Dunfallon was elated. I dealt with Noralei and her disappointment at not being included. I told her that for the future trip to the other side I would insist that she head up that mission. So she could at long last complete what she had tried before. 

And I wondered how my friend Rumble was going to react about being left behind too.